"This fall, as we wind down our 75th Anniversary year, we will bring some innovative events to our campus," remarked The Very Rev. Dr. John Behr, dean of St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary, Yonkers, NY. "Our fall schedule is quite full, and it will hold some surprises, in honor of our Jubilee.
"Most notably," he continued, "Father John Erickson, former dean of our school and professor emeritus of history, will present our inaugural Father John Meyendorff Annual Memorial Lecture in September; and in October, we will host a college conference with the theme 'For the Life of the World,' titled after the phenomenal book by Father Alexander Schmemann.
"With these two events," he concluded, "we plan to give special honor to two former deans who had immeasurable impact upon our seminary during their tenures."
The Father John Meyendorff First Annual Memorial Lecture will take place on Sunday evening, September 15, 2013, and is free and open to the public. The Meyendorff Lecture will be held in conjunction with special "Alumni Days" scheduled for September 15–16, 2013, and alumni interested in further details about the entire event may contact Pdn. Joseph Matusiak by email or by phone: 914.961.8313 x328.
The college conference, which will take place Saturday, October 5, 2013, will feature both The Rev. Christopher Foley (alumnus, '06), currently rector of Exaltation of Holy Cross Church, High Point, NC, and The Rev. Joel Weir, a graduate of St. Tikhon's Seminary and currently rector of St. Stephen the First Martyr Orthodox Church, Crawfordsville, IN. Both priests were chosen as speakers due to their transformative spiritual encounters with Fr. Alexander's book For the Life of the World, which they claim set them upon the path to Orthodox Christianity and deepened their faith in Jesus Christ.
The college conference is being arranged by Pdn. Joseph Matusiak, who is issuing special invitations to several Orthodox Christian Fellowships on college and university campuses across the United States. "In this unique year," said Pdn. Joseph, "our Events Committee decided to dedicate what normally is Orthodox Education Day to the spiritual growth of college and university students. Although because of the growing interest in the college conference we find that we will not be able to accommodate the general public to our campus for this special event, we will be podcasting the two talks by Father Christopher Foley and Father Joel Weir, and we hope our usual 'Ed Day' patrons will listen in to these moving presentations and keep us in thought and prayer on that day."
The Very Rev. Dr. Chad Hatfield, chancellor/CEO of the Seminary, commenting on the special fall schedule, added, "We have tried, during the next six months on our campus, to plan events that will accommodate a cross-section of Orthodox Christians, in keeping with our pledge to provide opportunities for education and spiritual growth to all church members.
"In addition to the Meyendorff Lecture and the 'For the Life of the World College Conference,' our musical Octet will be visiting two distinguished parishes this fall: on November 10, 2013, at Kimisis Tis Theotokou Church, Southampton, NY, served by The Very Rev. Alexander Karloutsos and The Rev. Constantine Lazarakis; and on December 5, 2013, at Holy Trinity Orthodox Church, Stroudsburg, PA, where our alumnus The Very Rev. Dr. Nicholas Solak is the pastor.
"All of our efforts and events will culminate with our 75th Anniversary Gala Benefit Banquet, which will be held Thursday, November 7, 2013, beginning at 6 p.m. at the Glen Island Harbour Club in New Rochelle. Our special guest speakers will be our esteemed alumnus His Grace Bishop Basil (Essey) of Wichita and Mid-America, of the Self-Ruled Antiochian Archdiocese of North America, and The Very Rev. Dr. John McGuckin, an Orthodox Christian professor at Union Theological Seminary and Columbia University and one of distinguished authors at SVS Press.
"Both the Dean and I hope that our friends and benefactors will pray for the success of these events during the next six months, and will celebrate our seminary's glorious legacy of educational and spiritual nourishment, which by God's grace, we are endeavoring to continue."
Details on all events will be updated regularly on the Seminary's Website, as planning continues.